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Everyone is watching her wallet these days, but that doesn’t mean a relationship cannot be celebrated and nurtured on Valentine’s Day. This year, use a little creativity to make an unforgettable Valentine’s Day.

Create a Valentine’s Day Experience

Rather than focusing on material gifts, turn attention to experiences. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show a loved one how important he is. Cook a favorite meal and make it a special experience that he won’t soon forget. Pull out all the stops: don’t forget dinner candles, place settings, and music. And, of course, dress up for the occasion!

Plan Valentine’s Day Meal

Begin with cocktail hour. Prepare special drinks, like martinis, single malt scotch, or a favorite glass of cabernet. Pair the drinks with hors-d’oeuvres. Serve colossal olives stuffed with blue cheese or jalapeno peppers, shrimp with cocktail sauce, grapes, cheese and crackers, prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe, bakery prepared bread sticks and hummus.

Serve a special dinner. Not a cook? Order take-out from a favorite restaurant. Better yet, go to a high end grocery store like Whole Foods. These stores offer an array of prepared foods that cost little in comparison to a restaurant meal. Then, don’t forget dessert. After all, a little indulgence is called for on Valentine’s Day. A decadent chocolate torte with a glass of red wine or a steaming cup of coffee offer a perfect ending to a carefully constructed meal.

Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him

Still want to give a gift? It can be done without breaking the bank. Focus on a man’s hobbies and interests to come up with ideas. Exercise enthusiasts may love a subscription to Men’s Health, wine enthusiasts may enjoy a subscription to Wine Enthusiast. Alternatively, music lovers will enjoy a $15 iTunes card and the computer geek can always use a funky looking thumb drive, which costs about $20.

Another meaningful gift is a framed photo. Search through photo archives to find a picture that evokes fun, romantic, or silly emotions. Then, find a frame to put it in. Bed, Bath, & Beyond and Michael’s craft stores are good places to purchase frames that are nice, yet inexpensive.

Valentine’s Day Gifts to Share

Give gifts that can be shared after Valentine’s Day. These gifts are fun for both partners, and they create an excuse to recognize a special relationship after the holiday passes. Tickets to the movies or museums are fun, low cost options. Offering a service is a fun way to celebrate love as well. Create service tickets that provide him with a free massage, back scratch or foot rub. Tell him he can use the passes whenever he pleases.

Creative Valentine’s Day Ideas Make the Day Special

An inexpensive gift is not a meaningless one. In fact, some of the most meaningful gifts cost nothing at all. Think carefully about a loved one’s interests and experiences. Doing so will result in an unforgettable Valentine’s Day celebration.

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